Satellites with ESA as end customer and a prime contractor. This is a procurement approach where the agent receives the purchase orders for parts from various parts users, extracts and compiles the total need quantities per type and manufacturer, along with the necessary attrition (including DPA, LAT or QCI and radiation samples) and places the purchase orders at the corresponding manufacturers. Upon receipt of the flight parts by the CPPA, the ordered parts quantities will be tested as required and shipped to the individual users. The main features of the co-ordinated procurement are:
As part of a comprehensive service to our customers, Alter Technology controls every phase of the product’s logistics from the manufacturer to the final delivery to the customer. The status of each component can easily be checked through our web-based reporting tools. The follow-up starts during the manufacturing process and components testing at the manufacturer’s facilities. Alter Technology keeps direct contact with the manufacturer to update in our system the production status, the quality control, and the expected delivery date. Whenever is required by the project or our customers we will articulate the needed steps to carry out at the manufacturer’s facilities an inspection before the components are encapsulated (Pre-Cap) or before shipment (Buy-Off).
The drive to use COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) components in the space industry is growing since these parts allow to obtain higher performance at the system level, which is difficult to obtain using currently available space components. However, the use of COTS components has an inherent risk because of the lack of confidence in the traceability and the long-term performance of these parts as well as the new concerns affecting mostly this type of products (RoHS, counterfeit parts, long-term reliability, etc.).